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jbarnett
extremely narrow back yard
jbarnett

Back yard is 45 ft long but only 4 ft wide (out from back of house). Neighbors garage and driveway right next to it (creating the 4 ft width). Just grass now but would like to use the space for something other than just a grassy area. Need ideas for using the space, having a little privacy, and yet not ticking off the nice neighbor. Any suggestions? Have had suggestions of a single lane " can't make a whole lap" pool, a bowling alley, and an air strip for radio controlled airplanes. None of those are working! We are an older couple who would like some thing low maintenance. A small boy lives next door who is very rambuncious so end result must be resilient. We are at a loss for ideas.

keith3267
Re: extremely narrow back yard
keith3267

Do you have a fence? Are you considering one?

jbarnett
Re: extremely narrow back yard
jbarnett

Thought about a fence but the neighbor's driveway is so close they would not be able to get his truck door open far enough to get out. It is the strangest set up I ever saw. My kitchen door opens onto a 3'x2' concrete pad then there is a very narrow strip of grass between it and their driveway. It is a 'puzzlement'! but thanks for the thought!

Jeanne
Re: extremely narrow back yard
Jeanne

I am not sure how you would build it, but perhaps a pergola or awning, depending on how much shade you want with outdoor curtains that could be shut for privacy. They might need to be weighted to keep them from blowing too much.

http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/05/one-day-outdoor-room-makeover/

http://www.canvas-products.com/Roll%20Down%20Curtains.htm

keith3267
Re: extremely narrow back yard
keith3267

A single car driveway should be at least 9' wide, a double 18' so I cannot understand why your neighbor needs your property to get out of his truck, but that is your business not mine. It is your property and if you do something that your neighbor doesn't like, then he/they are not being respectful of you.

But in zero lot line situations, your options may be limited. There is a good chance that the 4' lawn is also a utility right of way. This is the first thing you have to determine if there is a utility right of way. If there is, then anything you do can be dug up/ruined by the utility company if they need access and they do not have to restore it. That makes grass an ideal alternative in this situation.

You put in a trellis and some climbing plant in front of your windows for a little privacy, but curtains/blinds also work. I don't see much else that you can do as most plantings will block access to your back yard. If you want to replace the grass with a low maintenance surface, you could use a pea gravel or round stone type gravel as opposed to a crushed stone type gravel (A type gravel instead of a C type, i.e. A3 instead of C3). It is more resilient. You could also use a bark mulch but it might float away in the rain. There are rubber mulches available too.

Mastercarpentry
Re: extremely narrow back yard
Mastercarpentry

Gotcha beat- my backyard and the sides are about 16" wide to the fences (there were no zoning or building codes in effect when this place was built) :p With all the trees here there's nothing to maintain so that makes it work out.

Not much you can do without interfering with the neighbor so my advice would be to informally 'give up' the area to them if they want to use and maintain it if you don't want to do some plantings. If you 'share' the area, plant some low hedges next to your house for a buffer zone. Use something with thorns if their kids are really rambunctious :rolleyes:

Phil

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